The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) escalated its attacks against Palestinian fishermen. Today, Tuesday 2 February 2010, IOF naval vessels opened heavy fire at fishermen boats, followed them to the beach, and torn their fishing nets in the sea.
According to the documentation of Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, at approximately 8am on Monday 1 February 2010, IOF naval vessels were patrolling the sea opposite to Dier Al Balah town in middle Gaza district and opened fire at Palestinian fishermen boats who were working in the coast of the town and the nearby An-Nuseirat camp. Israeli vessels then sporadically fired towards fishing boats until 1pm on the same day. On Tuesday 2 February 2010, the IOF fired at fishermen boats and chased them by army rubber boats. Al Mezan’s field workers investigated these attacks and reported that fishermen boats did not exceed the limited fishing zone that had been announced by the IOF.
According to affidavits given to Al Mezan by the fishermen who were subject to these attacks, a special kind of fish locally called 'the birds' pass near Gaza coast at this time of the year, moving quickly from a place to another in the sea. This is the season in which this fish can be found in large quantities in Gaza sea. IOF had frequently taken restrictive and harassment measures against fishermen during this season during the past few years, causing them to lose the seasonal fishing.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights condemns the Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen which violate their rights and affect their living. Al Mezan reiterates its calls on the international community to intervene and IOF’s attacks and harassment against Palestinian fishermen in Gaza. International community’s silence in the face of these conducts has only encouraged IOF to continue violating human rights and international law.